Lakeshore Secrets (The McAdams Sisters, Book One)

Kate McAdams was forced six years ago to leave her beloved hometown of Willow Valley, leaving behind her family and the only man she’s ever loved, Marc Caliendo. Although she has created a new life for herself away from the drama, secrets and stress of the small town, she must return upon her grandmother’s death. Her return brings back wonderful memories, especially of Marc, but also horrible fears from the past. 

When fate throws her and Marc together once again, how can they ignore the everlasting love and desire between them? Will Kate stay and face her demons or will the deceit and secrets of the past destroy any future they may have and force her to leave again? 

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Chapter One

KATE MCADAMS' BREATH caught in her chest as she stepped through the automatic doors of the Caliendo Resort.

She was certain this trip would be a landslide of regret, anger and resentment. It was simply a matter of which McAdams would break down first. Out of her entire family, she hadn’t considered it would probably be her...until she felt her legs beginning to tremble as she walked through the resort’s lobby.

She should have skipped the pencil-line dress and worn dress pants to conceal the tremors.  

So much had changed in the last six years that only the building structure of the resort was recognizable. The check-in desk was no longer the central point of the lobby now situated along the far wall tucked under a curved balcony. A new large crystal chandelier hung above a marble-patterned floor. It was brighter, the walls an off white with more lights. So bright, it felt like you were still outside. Change everywhere.

Maybe she would blend in with the change and no one would notice her. Kate wasn’t the same little tom-boy climbing up trees without a care in the world. Instead she had to take over her dad’s duties when he couldn’t even get off the couch. A mess of a thing she had been back then, tromping around in ripped jeans and stained t-shirts, slinging a toolbox in her hands and driving around in his jalopy of a truck to this very resort to sneak around and attend to what her father, Kent should have been undertaking. It had been his job, not hers. But their roles had been reversed when Kate had been forced to grow up in the blink of an eye due to her dad’s alcoholic ways.

Her eyes traveled now down the hall that led to the silver ballroom, remembering the day that changed her life forever. Tremors overtook her body again as she remembered the night her mother was rushed out of the resort on a stretcher...the night her mother had died.

Kate shook her head back and came to reality, fluttering her eyelids to keep the tears at bay. She sucked in a deep breath to flush the tingling away and brought her attention back to the front desk.

You can do this.

It would have helped if Derek was standing by her side like she’d originally planned when booking their suite at the resort. But then she hadn’t expected to come home and find him sleeping with his their bed.

Kate shuddered but didn’t know if it was the memory of Derek or from the steps she took closer to the check-in desk.

The girls standing behind the counter were young, maybe early twenties.

As Kate was about to give the bubbly girl behind the counter her name, she thought how the girl’s smile should have been relaxing instead of irritating. Kate tried to relax, but then she heard someone calling her.

No. She wasn’t ready. She wasn’t ready!

She turned to see Izzy Caliendo walking her way.

It couldn’t have been worse if it had been Marc Caliendo, Izzy’s older brother, himself. Okay, that wasn’t true. It would have been far worse if it was Marc calling her...although she was pretty sure he wouldn’t call her if he did see her. He would walk away from Kate just like she had been forced to walk away from him six years ago. She felt herself slipping back to that fateful conversation with Marc’s father six years ago and the sadness that had consumed her since overwhelmed her again. Walking away from Marc, her best friend, had been the hardest choice she’d ever had to make.

“Oh my gosh!” Izzy squealed as Kate greeted her wearing one of those fake smiles she’d perfected over the years. “I can’t believe it’s you. That you are here.”

Izzy wrapped her arms around Kate and squeezed. Kate’s resolve flew out the window. Why had she kept this reservation at the resort? It was clear there were too many memories and reminders here, making this such a terrible idea.

“Hey Izzy,” she managed to choke out.

Izzy pulled away, but kept her hands clamped around Kate’s arms. For such a small thing, she had a killer grasp.

“Abby didn’t tell me you were staying here.” Izzy frowned and Kate watched a new and serious side appear on the young blonde’s face. “Actually, Abby hasn’t told me much. She’s stopped responding to my texts and I’ve gone over there every day−a few times−and she’s not answering the door.”

Kate felt her motherly instincts kick in at Izzy’s news.

Abby was the baby of the McAdams family−and Izzy’s best friend. With Abby’s twin brother, Avery, touring with his band, Inch Away, and unable to make it to the funeral, Kate was sure Abby would be the one to fall apart first.

Izzy continued. “And when I do see her, she’s super quiet. I don’t think she’s taking Grace’s death very well.”

Inescapable sadness consumed Kate’s body at the mention of her dead gran’s name. It pierced through her layers of protective clothing, like the cold, bitter, November chill until it reached deep inside to run its frosty fingers over her sheltered areas.

Pull it together, Kate.

She resumed her fake smile, adding reassurance for her sister’s friend. “None of us are taking it well, but we will have each other. We will work through this,” she assured Izzy.

“Have you talked to Marc?” And, just like that, Izzy was onto the next subject.

“No. I thought he was working at a resort down south?” Oh, please let him be at the resort down south.

Izzy smirked.

Oh no.

She let Kate’s arms go. “You don’t know?”

Know what? Was he married?

Kate wanted to slap herself upside the head. It didn’t matter if he was married. Why was that the first thing to enter her head? She’d almost been married. Just two days ago she’d been engaged to her boss and planning a wedding. It didn’t matter if Marc was married. He had moved on regardless.

“Marc came back after Dad died. He took over Dad’s position and is working with Uncle Carl running the chain,” Izzy said, looking pleased with herself.

Kate’s emotions went into overdrive. The mention of Robert Caliendo, Izzy and Marc’s father, sent chills through her body. She was fully aware that he was dead. She wouldn’t be standing in this resort if he were still alive...she wasn’t even sure she’d have come back to Willow Valley if Robert had still been here.

The feelings of dread fought in her stomach with the feelings of excitement and fear.

Marc was back? Marc was back!

How did she not know this? Gran had phoned her at least every other day before she passed and she had never mentioned Marc had come back to town. Odd since Grad had talked about all the other local gossip.

“I didn’t know that,” Kate admitted.

“Where is your number two?” Izzy asked, glancing around the foyer, taking note through the glass front doors of Kate’s parked, and empty, car. “You’re booked in the premium suite for two...right?” Izzy’s dark questioning eyes looked at Kate.

Kate loosened her jaw before replying. “I’m here alone.”

Izzy’s round eyes lit up and Kate silently cursed Derek.

Darn him and his cheating ways.

Shouldn’t Kate have seen the signs long before? He had left his wife for Kate in the first place...once a cheater, always a cheater.

“Miss McAdams,” the receptionist said, handing her a key and naming off her room number.

“Thank you,” Kate said, taking the key. “Well, I’m all set. I better go and get settled and then locate Abby.”

At the mention of her best friend’s name, Izzy’s face turned back to one of the concerned friend. “That’s a good idea. Can you tell her to call me or text me?”

Kate hugged Izzy this time. “I will.”


Kate started toward the door. One Caliendo down and hopefully no more to go.

Park the car. Get to your room and change, and then off to the meeting at the funeral home...after locating Abby.

“Hey Kate!” Izzy called behind her.

Kate turned.

“Marc’s single too.” Izzy winked then walked away, leaving Kate unsure how to handle the thrill the simple fact sent through her.